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Ectoparasites - Psoroptes

Psoroptes communis ovis: Sheep manage (not now present in NZ).

General Description: Microscopic arachnid with all legs projecting beyond body margin. Upper surface is smooth. Jointed pretarsi present.

Life Cycle: Typical mite life cycle.

Location: Most areas of body, especially those heavily wooled and haired such as shoulders, sides, and back.

Geographical Distribution: Sporadic in areas of the United States, Europe, and Africa.

Significance: Psoroptic mange is highly contagious and spreads rapidly in flocks. Wool loss, weight loss and death make it a costly disease.

Effect on Host: Much scratching and rubbing by the host. Wool breaks may occur, leaving raw skin exposed. Depression, loss of appetite, decreased weight, and possibly death can occur in heavy infestations.

Diagnostic Information: Scrapings taken from edge of lesions reveal mites when examined microscopically.

Control: Ivermectin injected subcutaneously has been found to be highly effective in the control of psoroptic mange. It is very important that the entire flock be treated.

Psoroptes ovis male and female   Larvae hatching from eggs
Characterstics long.jointed pedicel
SEM – P.ovis   Sheep showing effects of scabies


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